[NAFEX] goats

Louis Pittman lucky.pittman at murraystate.edu
Sun Jan 30 21:35:56 EST 2011


Amy,
Having grown up in east-central AL, I'm familiar with The Vine That Ate The
South.  Kudzu is great high-protein forage for ruminant animals - and the
young leaves are tasty if you batter 'em and fry 'em.
It's great, so long as there are no trees for it to climb into or fences to
conquer and drag to the ground.
Doesn't take long for a hungry herd of cows to completely defoliate a field
- but it re-leafs/regrows pretty quickly once you pull them off to another
field.
Back in the day, before the advent of effective herbicides, constant
overgrazing was the only effective means of eradicating it - but those big
fibrous roots went deep, and held quite a bit of reserve capacity - and if
the vines ever got above grazing/browsing height into the trees...it was a
lost cause.

I've got photos of my dad, when he was in his late teens/early 20s, along
with an older farm worker, mowing a kudzu field for hay with a horse-drawn
mowing machine; would have been prior to 1950...

Lucky

On Sun, Jan 30, 2011 at 4:52 PM, Amelia Hayner <abhayner at gmail.com> wrote:

> I have a very old USDA book, where some man was just extolling the virtues
> of kudzu as a renewable hay crop. like clover.
> He did make a small comment about how the edges of the field needed to be
> regularly plowed to keep it in control.
> It was either late 1800s or very early 1900s.
> Amy
>
> On Sun, Jan 30, 2011 at 5:43 PM, Louis Pittman <
> lucky.pittman at murraystate.edu> wrote:
>
>> Cows get out if you leave the gate open.
>> Sheep get out if they need something.
>> Goats get out because they want to see what the world looks like from the
>> hood of your car.
>>
>> Saw a presentation on using goats to control(eradicate?) kudzu, a couple
>> of weeks back - had photos of goats 25 ft above ground, in trees, eating
>> kudzu leaves.  Granted, they got there by climbing up limbs/treetops that
>> had been pulled down by the kudzu vines &/or broken out by ice storms.
>> 9 goats/acre did a pretty good job of reining the kudzu in(at least what
>> they could reach), but I suspect it'll take multiple years of continued
>> defoliation to eradicate it from a premise.
>>
>> Goats were never intended to live and GRAZE in the hot, humid Southeastern
>> US;  browsing rough, brushy overgrown properties is what they were designed
>> to do
>>
>>   On Sun, Jan 30, 2011 at 3:27 PM, Amelia Hayner <abhayner at gmail.com>wrote:
>>
>>>
>>>
>>>  On Sun, Jan 30, 2011 at 1:31 PM, Naomi Counides <naomi at oznayim.us>wrote:
>>>
>>>> Goats are not capable of shinnying up a tree truck but I can see where
>>>> they
>>>> could manage to stand in the low branches of a fruit tree.
>>>>
>>> -----I once had a goat go up a ladder, and run around on the tin roof of
>>> a shed. I have photos somewhere... I am just glad goats don't have thumbs,
>>> or are carnivorous-- because then they would rule the world.
>>> ( they've got it pretty much like they want it, here, anyway)
>>> Amy
>>>
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